Employees with unhealthy vices can cost companies money, so a number of businesses are offering incentives to workers who kick their bad habits. And some bosses are even threatening to take benefits away from those who won’t.
After significant increases in the cost of health care coverage for about 6,000 workers, 44% of whom were smokers, AmeriGas Propane said that unless employees got their regular medical check-ups, they’d lose their health insurance, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The employees, who were 46 years old on average, hadn’t responded to other company wellness programs that encouraged healthy habits, and had high rates of diabetes and heart disease. So the company gave them an ultimatum.
If they didn’t get their required medical exams within a year, which were paid for by their company, they’d lose their health insurance, according to The Wall Street Journal.
As a result, AmeriGas says more than 90% of its workers have had their exams, and there was a rise in the number of employees being treated for conditions like high cholesterol, diabetes, asthma and high blood pressure.
Getting Paid Not to Smoke
More than half of employers offer smoking cessation programs, according to one survey by consulting services firm Deloitte & Touche. And like paying a kid for good grades, financial incentives to quit smoking are a fairly effective tool, according to results from a recent study published by the New England Journal of Medicine.